Toyota Motors, the world's biggest car maker said yesterday that it is temporarily suspending sales of its Lexus 2010 GX 460 model in the US to investigate handling problems that could probably turn the car over during sharp turns.
This move was triggered after a non-profit magazine Consumer Reports, widely read by shoppers before buying a vehicle, said that the Toyota GX 460 model is a ''safety risk'' and urged shoppers not to buy the sport utility vehicle.
The magazine tested two separate vehicles of the same model on a test track and found out that when a test driver nears a turn at high speed and releases the accelerator pedal to simulate a real time response of a startled driver in real conditions, the rear of the GX 460 tended to slide outwards.
The magazine said that while, the electronic stability control should quickly correct the loss of control and keep the SUV on its intended path, the stability control of the GX 460 did not adjust immediately and took too long to control, which could cause a rollover accident if the rear wheels came into contact with a curb or any other obstacle.
Consumer Reports said that the warning label of ''Don't Buy'' on the SUV will be there as long as the problem is rectified.
Toyota said in a statement, ''We are taking the situation with the GX 460 very seriously and are determined to identify and correct the issue Consumer Reports identified. At this time we have asked our dealers to temporarily suspend sales of the 2010 GX 460.''